We’ve had some great reader questions recently on the subject of dating, and so we’re eager to give you real answers relevant to this important topic, from a number of different perspectives, like this one, and the one below.
The question we’re focusing on today is: “What if I date a non-Christian guy who is really nice to me, but is not a Christian? Should I stay with him? Can I make him change?”
Before we tackle who to date, let’s discuss…
Why date anyway?
As humans, we desire spiritual, emotional, and physical intimacy. In our culture, dating seems revolve around finding a person with whom to share your life. So, ultimately, dating is for the purpose of finding a spouse.
Caution: It only takes a tiny spark to light a forest fire…
Imagine, if you will, a blazing camp fire on a cold night. Orange and blue flames light up the darkness. Warmth floods from its center and chases away your chills. It’s a blessing. It’s beautiful. But it’s consuming, too, right? The fire eats away at the wood that feeds it. If not replenished, the fire will die from lack of fuel. And once the fire is roaring, it takes effort to put it out. If you don’t have the correct boundaries for it, you will get burned. Even when extinguished, the fire leaves its mark.
Dating can be like that fire. It might start small, a spark over a quick coffee. But emotions and attraction can breath fire on the spark. Before you know it, you’re in the middle of a blaze.
Your physical chemistry doesn’t care what the guy believes.
At least, not initially. If you are attracted to a guy and he responds positively, your heart can flame like that fire. Perhaps that’s why the Bible warns against deep relationships with unbelievers.
Don’t be teamed with those who do not love the Lord, for what do the people of God have in common with the people of sin? How can light live with darkness?
Does that mean we can’t have non-Christian friends?
I don’t think so. In fact, I think one of the greatest ways to draw people to Christ is by caring about them. But you should beware making a person who does not follow Jesus your closest confidant, advice giver, and accountability partner. Why? Because you aren’t going in the same direction. And if you are dating a guy, you are growing closer to him and putting him in the position of a close confidant.
Why shouldn’t I date a non-Christian if he’s a really nice person?
As I discussed earlier, dating is about finding someone with whom to share your life, i.e., a person to marry. The way we approach life’s troubles and triumphs stems from our worldview and our view of God. Relationships, especially marriages, are difficult enough when both people are committed to God.
[Tweet “Even if he’s nice, when you approach life from different worldviews, sparks will fly, & not the good ones. “]
And sparks leave scorch marks, so try to remember the Relationship Triangle:
In a marriage relationship, if both you and your husband are moving toward God, you are moving closer together. But if either of you are moving away from God, you are moving farther apart. If you date and fall in love with a person who does not put God first then you will be moving in painfully opposite directions.
Shouldn’t I be able to change him?
No. God changes hearts, but the only person you can work on is yourself.
But if we date, isn’t there a chance he might come to know Jesus?
You aren’t called to missionary date. God is the one who calls hearts. Whether or not you date him will not be the deciding factor in his drawing near to God. Let God bring the person to Himself first, then you can date him if it’s still God’s plan. I think sometimes we, as creatures constrained by time, get impatient. But waiting on God results in peace. Going ahead of God or against what He tells us is best, can result in burn marks from heartache.
Should I break up with him?
In 1 Corinthians 7:12-15, the apostle Paul tells believers not to divorce their unbelieving spouses, but he is addressing married people. Until you’ve said “I do” in a marriage ceremony, you would be wise to heed the above mentioned 2 Corinthians 6:14 verse.
God’s word is clear. He’s not like a human who might say one thing today and mean something opposite tomorrow. He wants you to be with a person moving toward Him because he knows that is what is best for your well-being. He desires good things for you. Trust Him with your future and guard your heart against ache.